Starter - Analysis and group discussion: Watch the trailer for the film Ingrid Goes West (2017). What issues surrounding online vs in real life (IRL) identity is the film exploring?

Research task: What is meant by the term ‘commodification’? Read this article and pick out 5 key ideas.

How might this apply to Zoella / Zoe Sugg?

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You might also choose to look at Alice V. Jones’ article in Task 8, in which she suggests that ‘Sugg’s home, by contrast, is such a cathedral to individuality, she has written a book about how everyone can copy it,’ suggesting that the Zoella lifestyle is itself a construct. There are interesting points raised by the Fearne Cotton ‘Happy Place’ podcast, in which Zoe and Fearne discuss how far social media posts and vlogs are ‘real’ or constructed (see Task 9).

Zoella on YouTube

The YouTube Channels continue to be updated, sometimes sporadically. It is estimated that Zoella may earn around £15k per month from YT. Her subscribers have dropped since 2017, suggesting a fading of her core audience, but views remain fairly constant.

There are two channels:

youtube screenshot youtube screenshot

Follow the suggestions in the earlier resources for activities and analysis tasks for the vlogs.

Diversification and Collaboration

Pair and group discussion: What are your favourite brands? (These could be clothing, technology etc.) If that brand was a person, what adjectives would you use to describe them? What celebrities (or models) are used to advertise the brand? How does the choice of celebrity/model fit in with the brand’s identity?

SuggLife 2016/17

In late 2016, Sugg and her YouTuber brother, Joe Sugg, released a range of branded merchandise called 'Sugg Life', created in collaboration with The Creator Store, a company owned by Alfie Deyes and Dominic Smales of Gleam Futures. The term 'Sugg Life' is a play on 'Thug life', a phrase popularised by Tupac Shakur's 1990s hip hop group of the same name and more recently an internet meme. The online shop offered a range of products such as hoodies, stickers and phone cases. In August 2017, The Creator Store opened a pop-up shop in Covent Garden which, for ten days, sold limited edition 'Sugg Life X PB' merchandise; a collaboration of Sugg Life and Deyes' 'Pointless Blog' brands. As of May 2018, the Sugg Life online shop is no longer active, but SuggLife merchandise is available via online retailer Red Bubble.

Glamour Cover and Feature Article March 2018

Zoella Beauty and Lifestyle

In 2016, Zoella Beauty products were available in twelve countries. In July 2018, Sugg's fifth range was released, titled "Splash Botanics".

Each year since 2016, Sugg has released a new collection of limited edition homeware products, including candles etc., under the Zoella Lifestyle brand, distributed by many UK retailers including Boots, Superdrug, WHSmith, Dunelm, House of Fraser and FeelUnique.

On March 8th 2019, Zoe Sugg stated in her YT More Zoella vlog PANCAKES, P.O. BOX & BIG DECISIONS ( that she had decided not to renew her licensing agreement with SLG, adding that it was "by far the project that earns me the most money out of anything I do". Sugg explained that she and her licencing company SLG didn't agree on certain decisions, that producing more ranges beyond 2019 "didn't feel right", and she has a "new vision". The Zoella Beauty and Zoella Lifestyle products will be discontinued in 2020. The last ever Zoella Beauty collection, ‘Fruits’, was announced on Friday 15th March 2019.

Collaboration: Colourpop Cosmetics

In February 2019, it was announced that Sugg had worked on a limited edition makeup range with ColourPop Cosmetics based on 70s fashion. On 27/02/19 Zoella’s Colourpop Cosmetics collaboration went live, with the launch of the Brunch Box. Sugg had been wearing colours from the box in her posts for some time before the launch. The one-off collaboration model may well be the future for the Zoella brand.


Cordially Invited: September 2018

Starter - Personal reflection: What media have you consumed despite poor reviews or controversy? Why did you ignore the reviews? What was your personal opinion - did you agree with the reviews? Do you trust friends’ opinions more than those of professional reviewers?

Zoella’s first non-fiction book, ‘Cordially Invited’, a book of tips on how to entertain friends, was released in September 2018.

It received some negative feedback, particularly for its lack of original ideas and simplistic, some suggested patronising, tone. The following links offer a number of opinions which you can use with your students. ‘Cordially Invited’ book launch post